Whole Body Cryotherapy
Is a practice of using cold temperature to promote natural healing and wellness that dates back to ancient civilizations. Whole Body Cryotherapy is the modern experience which has the same rejuvenating and refreshing benefits of ice or cold water, but at a whole new level of cold, in just three minutes. Whole Body Cryotherapy was first utilized in 1978 in Japan by Dr. Yamaguchi to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Reaching temperatures as low as -120 Celsius (-184ºF), whole body cryotherapy is a faster and more effective alternative to traditional ice baths. Cryotherapy participants say they experience a multitude of benefits and that it is one of the driving forces behind a new lifestyle of wellness.
How does it work:
You get into a chamber that is cooled with nitrogen gas. The temperature in the chamber starts dropping gradually reaching the max of -184 F degree. The whole treatment takes anywhere from two to three minutes. The extreme cold sends electrical impulses to the central nervous system indicating the body must prepare to survive. This activates the body’s defense mechanism and the blood rushes to vital organs to protect them from extreme cold. Now, that the body has transported the blood to the core, the blood begins to be enriched with oxygen, collagen, erythrocytes and other beneficial nutrients during the hyper-production period. Vasodilation begins after you have exited the chamber. During this time, your body is transporting the new nutrient dense blood into your skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. Whole Body Cryotherapy allows your body to access & release valuable naturally-occurring biochemicals that are active in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, increasing metabolism, deoxidizing & ridding the body of detrimental toxins.
Pain reduction due to various ailments
According to John Hopkin’s University Cryotherapy is the “I” component of R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This is a treatment recommended for the home care of many injuries, particularly ones caused by sports.
The benefits of applying ice include:
- It lowers your skin temperature.
- It reduces the nerve activity.
- It reduces pain and swelling.
Cryotherapy for pain relief may be used for:
- Runner’s knee
- Arthritis pain
- Pain and swelling after a hip or knee replacement
- To treat pain or swelling under a cast or a splint
- Lower back pain
Experts believe that cryotherapy can reduce swelling, which is tied to pain. It may also reduce sensitivity to pain. Cryotherapy may be particularly effective when you are managing pain with swelling, especially around a joint or tendon.
Athletic performance and recovery:
Athletes of all disciplines are now turning to cryotherapy for recovery to help them perform better. With cryotherapy, you can train harder, longer, and recover quicker to help you achieve maximum results from your workouts. During a Whole Body cryotherapy session, as temperatures rapidly cool, oxygen is pushed through the body to help reduce inflammation, relieve pain and recover the muscles. This way, one can recover faster after an intense workout and is able to minimize the rest intervals and down time.
Here is a list of Cryotherapy recovery benefits:
- Quick and complete recovery due to anti-inflammatory and enhanced blood flow environment.
- Allows more intense and higher volume training
- Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Increase energy and peak athletic performance
- Allows for immediate post-therapy sports activity
- Natural endorphin “high” resulting in quick mental recovery and mood elevation
- Injury to muscles and tissue repair is enhanced by reduced inflammation due to improved blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification.
- Decreases muscle soreness, pain and inflammation
Anti aging rejuvenation:
Whole Body Cryotherapy for skin rejuvenation may seem like an unconventional type of all natural treatment. However, this safe non-invasive therapy method boosts the immune system in numerous ways, hence stimulating all the body functions to perform better.
This, in turn, helps achieve a smoother, healthier, and younger-looking skin. Below is a list of cryotherapy skin rejuvenation and anti-aging benefits that might shock you as they challenge the need for expensive and often chemicals-filled skin treatments:
- Less Toxins
- Acne reduction
- Cellular Regeneration
- Improved Collagen Production
- Less Wrinkles
- Reduces appearance of Cellulite
- Psoriasis, Dermatitis and Eczema Relief
- Stronger Hair and Nails
- Anti-Inflammatory Effect
- Controlled Autoimmune Process
In full body cryotherapy session, as skin is exposed to extreme temperature, the body signals the brain to go into a ‘fight or flight’ mode. As a result, metabolism increases rapidly to produce heat to fight sub zero temperature. This process is called cold thermogenesis. This is the natural way human body produces heat and ultimately burns fat. During a cryotherapy session, an average person burns between 500-800 calories. The combination of increased metabolic rate and high calorie burn results in weight loss.
Improvement in mental fitness:
Whole Body Cryotherapy technique has undergone several studies to assess its efficacy as an alternative, conjunctive method of treating anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Below is a list of benefits of cryotherapy for mental health issues that had been observed.
- Increased levels of endorphins
- Mood enhancement
- Decreased symptoms of depression
- Decreased release of cortisol
- Long-term stress and anxiety reduction
- Reduced pharmaceutical drug intake
- Stabilized sleep patterns
- Corrected central nervous system processes
- Elevated serotonin levels
- Improved immune system and reduced risk of illnesses
A contraindication to cold therapy is an injury or condition that would make applying cold therapy to a sports injury dangerous. The following are contraindications to cold therapy. This means that if you have any of the conditions below then applying cold therapy is likely to be bad for you. The following list is not exhaustive and we recommend seeing your Doctor for professional advice if you are in any doubt.
Raynauds Phenomenon – A condition affecting small blood vessels in the extremities. Exposure to cold may cause a return in symptoms.
Cold Hypersensitivity – There are many forms of cold hypersensitivity, which include:
- Cold Urticaria – Also known as hives. A release of histamine during re-warming after a period of cooling, causing red, itchy welts on the skin.
- Cold Erythema – A rash, characterized by redness and itching, caused by exposure to cold. Can cause severe pain and muscular spasms.
- Cold Hemoglobinuria – When red blood cells break down so quickly that some hemoglobin cannot combine with blood proteins.
Anesthesia – When there is an area of numbness or altered sensitivity, cold therapy should not be used as pain and the degree of cooling cannot be felt by the patient.
The following conditions are considered controversial. They can be treated with cryotherapy, although extra care may be needed. Again, we recommend seeking professional advice if you are in any doubt:
- Cardiac Conditions – such as Arrhythmia, Angina or CHD.
- High Blood Pressure – Vasoconstriction could serve to increase blood pressure.
- Superficial Nerves – Cold therapy should not be used on an area where nerves pass close to the surface.
- Healing Wounds – Cold therapy should not be used over a new wound.
Cryotherapy is an effective treatment for athletic recovery, pain management, inflammation reduction and skin improvement. Numerous peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy. It is not a medical procedure, and all clients of Arctic Healing Cryo should first check with their medical professionals to confirm whether WBC is appropriate for their health.